Walking Dallas, Part 5: B-Side

When I originally began sorting through my contact sheets for the right images for this series, the story of this time spent walking Dallas began to form in front of me. It began with the highs of a marvelous skyline and ended with the lows of the realities of city life back down on the streets. Still, after a lot of editing, there are just some images that stick out even through they didn't manage to find their way into the story.

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Walking Dallas, Part 2: Divisions

The human element exists here on the streets of Dallas, but in a more divided way than I was expecting to see. This particular stretch of downtown is separated into distinct areas, with distinct people doing very distinct things in their particular sections. There are no blurred lines - the way of life seems to change from well-off to desperate simply by crossing the street.

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The Dying of the Light

The entire house slowly darkens, yielding to night's arrival. One room, situated near the front and facing the west, still clings to the dying light and glows a defiant orange. It's quiet and still in the house but yet something still shouts at me to raise the camera. It occurs to me that whatever I capture in the final minutes with this light, this final light, will be the last glimpse of what today looked like.

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State Fair of Texas Part 1: Before Nightfall

“You have to check out the State Fair”. It’s been one of the most consistent things I’ve heard since moving to Dallas. Last week I finally had a chance to visit the fair, which is only here for another week or so. The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas. They might be right. Big trucks, big shows, big rides, huge amounts of food and drinks and lights and sounds that will keep your finger on the shutter button all night long. I’ve managed to edit all there was to see into a two part blog post. Part 2, Illuminated, will be posted soon.

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FLIPPING THE SWITCH - DEEP ELLUM

It's strange how much livelier a neighborhood can be at night. By day I could walk past any number of stores and shops in Deep Ellum and the doors are closed, the lights are off and it almost looks abandoned. The vibe of the neighborhood during the day is that there are excellent restaurants and some shops around, but very few people. At night though, that switch is flipped in a big way.

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Deep Ellum By Day and By Night

With every new country I move to, I’m lucky to be working in some pretty extraordinary studios, and those studios happen to be situated in some pretty extraordinary neighborhoods. In Sydney, I was working on the Fox Studios Lot next to a place called the Entertainment Quarter that hosted movie premieres at its theater and an amazing farmers market on Wednesdays. If I wasn’t running into celebrities on the lot, I could venture out to see what was happening right next door in the “EQ”. In Montreal, I worked at studios located in the famous and historic Old Port which was full of culture, landmarks, restaurants and plenty of tourists. Now I’m located here in Dallas in a neighborhood called Deep Ellum, and it doesn’t disappoint with its own amazing backstory and culture.

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Distractions

The village of Leetonia in northeastern Ohio has a population of roughly 2000. One less, actually, with the passing of my grandfather last winter. One of his last wishes was simple: “Wait for it to get warm. Then have everyone over and have a party." Or at least that’s how I’m told it went. And it was because of this request that I found myself in Leetonia last month for his memorial service. He was a soldier, a coal miner, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a  friend to many. It was good for family to gather the night before the guests arrived. Death has always made me uneasy (I suppose because of the permanence of it), and I especially appreciated the distractions.

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FujiTuesday Montreal: June 16, 2015

It's never a good sign when you see an 80% chance of rain on the forecast, especially when you've got a great FujiTuesday photo walk planned. After a brief rain delay of about 15 minutes or so, we were delighted to find that the clouds were parting and as you can see from the image above: the sun and blue skies came back for a gorgeous sunset! The first FujiTuesday Montreal turned out to be a complete success!

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Fuji Walk Toronto: May 30, 2015

Just one week after the great Fuji Walk in Montreal, I was on my way down to Toronto to see what the turnout would be like for their big Fuji Walk in the Distillery District. I arrived late Friday evening and was out the door for an early start the next morning for the walk itself, but I knew immediately that I'd have to return to Toronto soon. The downtown area is huge, and I wished I had more time to explore the city in that great early morning light.

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A Silent Sunday Morning

Once the sound of the bus had faded away, all that remained was an eery silence. Was this Rue Notre Dame? The street that was always slammed with traffic on my morning walks through Old Port? The one that is usually lined with pedestrians and countless construction vehicles during the day?

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TAKING THE LEAP IN MONTREAL

Montreal residents are a graceful people. Well, some are more graceful than others, but we’re tenacious, too! When faced with the prospect of either walking 30 additional seconds out of our way to avoid a backup of sewer water or braving a leap of faith over it to save time, most people took the leap. Most of them succeeded. Most of them…

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Recent Developments: Tri-X and Portra 400

Retrieving developed film from the lab is a fantastic feeling. Since I don’t develop from home, I’m left wondering what exactly I have in that little flash drive until I get access to a computer to review the shots. I have a general idea of where I was and what I shot, but in some cases with film, it can take me weeks to finish a 36 shot roll. It’s a condition that all film photographers suffer from - something called patience. When I’m using the Mamiya ZM, I compose more carefully and shoot only when I feel it’s worth the exposure. It’s no wonder then that I had so many surprises when I checked out these latest developments!

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Life Returns To Montreal

I’ve been shooting a lot of film lately. It’s a great thing, because sometimes I get tired of EVFs and autofocus and macro modes and RAW processing - sometimes I need to get back to simpler roots and just shoot film. Unfortunately, that means that I take my time and this blog doesn’t get updated as often as I’d like! Having said that, the weather here in Montreal has taken a fantastic warm turn and I decided to take the instantly gratifying X-T1 back out with the fantastic 23mm f/1.4 and see what was happening on the streets of Old Port and Mont Royal. 

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Creative Spaces: Pepe Martell

In a corner of the family garage at his home in South Florida, Pepe Martell has carved out his own artistic sanctuary. Classical music plays through the speakers from the radio on the opposite wall, but on other occasions I’ve heard it playing the latest hits from the Top 40 charts. There’s an energetic vibe in this small corner tucked squarely between the file cabinets and the tool shelves. Art supplies are spread out across the desk but neatly tucked into their own individual mugs and containers. It brings a smile to my face because I know I’m looking at the spot where an artist lets his imagination run wild. The tools are used, genuinely used, and by skillful hands

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